“Nor Did They Protest” By David M. Alper

fourth floor balcony // a pair of redwood hanging baskets // in June two wild doves flew in // and
built a nest in one basket // in which mama laid her eggs // the apartment tenant forgot about her
once // while watering the plants // only to have her emerge screeching // wings at full length //
he apologized // she seemed to accept it // and resumed her place on her nest // the eggs hatched
// the dove family flew out to the ocean // it was over // or so the tenant thought // the doves
returned the next year // but not to the tenant’s balcony // this time they built a nest // of twigs
atop a speaker // hung on the tenant’s bedroom wall // some ten feet in from the window // nor
did they protest // when the tenant closed his window // on colder nights // only to reopen it // in
the morning sun // this continued for weeks // the eggs hatched // the doves flew away // the third
year // the doves returned // this time building their nest // atop a ground level balcony // planter
box // weren’t nests supposed to be built high up? // while making morning coffee // the tenant
was allowed to watch // mama dove sitting on her eggs // the tenant // planning to return to his
hometown // pushed his move back to August // to allow the eggs to hatch // July 31 // mama
dove was still sitting on her eggs // although the tenant left behind the planter box // he felt guilt
at abandoning his wards // and yet blessed // at his once in a lifetime encounter

David M. Alper is a high school AP English teacher in New York City, residing in Manhattan. His work has appeared in Oxford Magazine, OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters, Sheila-Na-Gig online, and elsewhere.


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